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Discussion on: Programming is Ruining My Life - What I'm Doing About It

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Martin Häusler

Programming is tough, on many levels. A couple of things I do to keep it manageable.

1) Don't let coding be the first OR last thing you do. This means: start your day with a breakfast, read the news, read your mail, do anything except sitting down to code. This helps to put things into perspective and avoids the "everything is horrible" downward spiral. Also, in the evening, don't go straight to bed after working on a program. It will haunt your sleep. Read a book, watch some youtube, just clear your mind, at least for 15 minutes.

2) Have a pet project. We've all been there - hunting a bug for thr entire day, or spending said day in meetings where you just try your best to manage expectations and keep scope limited to avoid total desaster. After a day like this when you feel super unproductive, take an hour and work on your pet project to remind yourself that programming can be FUN. Even when you're currently struggling, the next success will come.

3) Get a good monitor. Programming involves working with plain text a lot, which means you'll be reading a ton. Having a high resolution display worked wonders for me as the text us sharper and easier to read, reducing strain on the eyes. I'm personally using a pair of 4K monitors.

4) Invest in a good, ergonomic chair that fits you. Whatever you do, don't program with your notebook in your lap on the couch.

5) Exchange with your peers. 2020 has been rough on this one, but find local meetups and join! Talk to others and you'll find that nobody is perfect. In fact, you may be a lot better at your job than you thought.

6) Organize and manage requirements. Don't even push the first key until you know exactly what's being asked, and WHY it's requested. You are responsible for the "how", but first the "what" and "why" must be clear.